Who were the Ottoman Empire, and what did they do in WWI?

Just want some basic information about this empire.

1 Answer
Feb 10, 2017

The Ottoman Empire was established at the end of the 1200s by a tribal leader named Osman. It conquered Constantinople in 1453 (now Istanbul). It was destroyed at the end of World War 1.


The Ottoman Empire had a long and important history in Southeastern Europe particularly the Balkans as well as the modern area of Turkey and the Middle East including the Muslim holy places. They also at one time controlled much of North Africa. See map for largest extent.

By the start of World War 1 they had lost some ground including much of the Balkans but were still a force to reckoned with. The weakening influence of the Ottoman Empire was an important part of the lead up to the War.

The Ottomans were a natural competitor with the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Russia.

When it came to choose sides in World War 1 its ties with Germany were the strongest and it entered the War on the side of Central powers.

The Ottomans defeated the British at Gallipoli and Kut.

None of the mentioned empires (Ottoman, Russian, and Austro-Hungarian) survived World War 1. The country of Turkey fought for is independence and emerged renewed in the 1920s.

The restructuring of the Middle East by the the French and British out of the remains of the Ottoman Empire set the stage for much of the problems in that area in modern times.

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Credit:By Chamboz - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=52259059